Monday, April 16, 2007

Kitchen Carnage

It has been a few months since my first attempt at the Red Velvet Cake. I've been itchin' for a reason to take another shot at it. I like an audience when I'm doing something like this and it just so happens that our family's matriarch was having a birthday. Perfect...well, sort of. You see, I've had a sting of bad luck with birthday cakes for her. This weekend was no exception.

Lets start with the good news. The color was excellent this time around. Very, very red. Definitely Ruby-esque. It probably had something to do with the ginormous amount of food coloring I used:


BOTH bottles were emptied in the process of this recipe. And, believe it or not, it was still less than it called for!! I thought that when I got the large, 1 oz bottle that I'd hit the motherlode and would be set for at least two cakes. Still not enough.

It definitely was red!! No mistake about it.



Maybe the brilliant hue had something to do with the new ingredient added in this recipe....vinegar? Supposedly it reacts with the food coloring to make it more strong or something.

Ready for the oven:


It all went downhill after this shot, though.

The cakes came out of the oven fine, but stuck fiercely to the pans. The NON-STICK pans. The ones that I oiled ahead of time, justincasethankyouverymuch. Yes, I've had this happen before, so I didn't completely freak out. I also knew that I had exactly what I needed for repair: adequate fine motor skills, true love for a culinary challenge and lots and lots of frosting.

Well, I did the best that I could.


It is a far cry from the one that I dream about in my head:


It is slouching a bit. And, doesn't it look a little like a crime scene?

I'm not sure what happened with the recipe - but it could be b/c the recipe called for three pans & I only used two? Maybe it was b/c the recipe called for "self rising" flour and I could not find that, so I mixed my own?? Or, maybe it was b/c it was a cake for Mom's BDay & that is just the way that goes sometimes? We had a great laugh about that.

This installment in my Red Velvet Cake adventure didn't produce the most stately, picturesque confection - but the cake sure did taste good. I think that everyone enjoyed it & there is very little left over. Mom even asked for a Red Velvet Doggie Bag. Considering that the last cake started getting a bit fuzzy before tossing it out, I'd give this one a higher mark in the taste department although I will not make it again. I'm looking for a firmer texture. If you have any thoughts or theories on the outcome, I'm open for feedback.

Red Velvet Cake Trial #2 - Donezo.




PS - Eleven Months since LID, too.

26 comments:

tundrachica said...

Congrats on 11!
As for the cake...that is always my luck. If I make something on a whim to satisfy a craving...it comes out beautiful! When I plan to make something for a function or person, it always comes out looking like a crime scene!

Good try and I would like to give that really red cake a shot sometime. My favorite cake to bake is a Devil's Chocolate. Mmmmmm........

C.J. said...

Woohoo to eleven down!

The cake...hey, if it was yum that is a huge step. Wish I had advice but the only thing I could do would be paint it ;0)

It kinda did look like an out-take of CSI ;0) But...that's my thoughts about red cake.

atomic mama said...

That "ideal" cake? Too uptight. Yours is rock-and-roll. Okay, maybe a little on the Halloween prop side of things, but I'd eat it for sure! Yay for nearing the pre-teen LID stage...

a&mg said...

Happy Eleven!

I think as long as a cake tastes good, that's what counts. You can always eat it with your eyes closed!

walternatives said...

Two words - photo stylist. It was someone's job to make that rigid slice look perfect for the photo. Who knows if it was even edible, right? Yours, however, is an authentic cake. We love authentic. Reminds me of a story. A friend collected Santa Clauses and had them all out (30+) for display during a Xmas party. She asked her guests to guess which was her favorite Santa. I was the only one who got it right, choosing the most beat up, scuffy, well-worn Santa, knowing that it had been handled and well-loved the years before my friend found it. Your cake, obviously, was "well-loved." And so are you, friend, though I'm not insinuating that you're scruffy.

Melissa O said...

Hey, yummy cakes always work. I have to believe that the "professional" looking cake probably doesn't taste nearly as good. Although - the color of yours is spot on this time!

Congrats on number 11. Bet that cake made the date a little easier to swallow.

M3 (Mary-Mia) said...

Oh those "actual" vs "dream" pictures crack me up. Too funny. I'm sure yours is exactly how my cake would turn out too, and I bet it didn't hinder the taste one bit. :-)

Anne Marie said...

All I can say is it looks damn good! The color is perfect and if it tasted good who cares about the rest. Honestly, you don't want it to look like it came from a hotel!

Anne Marie said...

P.S. Happy 11.

Mark & Michelle said...

11 months!!! CONGRATS!!

The cake is to eat, not to stare at!!

Kathy and Joel said...

Congrats on 11!!! That cake looks amazing to me...

Stephanie said...

Crime scene - ha ha!! Anyway, the self rising flour would probably help you out next time and also make sure that in order to truly get the cake to be non-stick you should brush the pans with melted butter and then coat with flour - that seems to work well.
Stephanie
www.thewrittenword.wordpress.com
www.mesocrafty.wordpress.com

Glen and Andrea said...

Awesome! Love the photo comparison. I had a similar experiance the other day with a flash chocolate birthday cake, quite devastating when I seriously envisioned this amazing creation that would render people speechless!

Also, what exactly is a Ruby cake? Does it taste like berries? Is it common in America?

Andrea from NZ

Joannah said...

Happy #11!

As for the cake...

I have never had any luck with layer cakes. I'm not coordinated enough to get them to look pretty. I bet it tasted good!

Mariah said...

Looks yummy to me!! Happy 11!!

kris said...

Yippee to 11 down!! As for the cake... girl, if you can bake anything you are a goddess. I SUCK in the kitchen! My child will starve!

ps. thanks for the comment about my last post. meant a lot to me. you 'get' it.

Stacy said...

Congrats on getting 11 months behind you!

Your recipe sounds a lot like my family recipe. We use two 1 oz bottles of coloring, we use the vinegar, and three cake pans. The difference is the recipe I have calls for cake flour. Very interesting.

I bet it tasted GREAT!

Beth and Shayna said...

Sorry I have been MIA. I think your cake looks yummy. Just keep practicing and it will look like the other picture you show. At least you do not have to deal with high altitude.

Happy 11 months.

Doris & Dan said...

Happy 11!

For the red colouring, try colouring gel. More intense and less needed.

Looks yum!

Keep smilin!

zgirl said...

Your cake looks yummy to me!

Shandra said...

Looks yummy to me! Using cake flour may make a dif. Just a thought. It usually does when I am cooking.

Barb said...

Beautiful color - the color definitly improved and looks fabo. Now the rest - not sure. For altitude i always have to add a little more buttermilk or some sour cream - it gives it a denser texture. You're not at altitude though. So, hmm..
It does look yummy and is making my mouth water a little bit right now. And, at least it tasted good and not like cornmeal!
Did that happen to be a take on Grandma Fanny's recipe?
PS
Happy 11, friend

Kim said...

the cake still looks yummy and like it was enjoyed :) that "perfect" cake probably tastes like play dough

Cavatica said...

I think it looks great. The "perfect" photo you posted looks, well... too perfect, stiff, and chewy. No, I'd go for yours any day!

Jessi said...

I think the cake looks damn good AND tasty.

Congrats on the 11.

Laura said...

I'm sure the cake was delicious! Wow 11 months already!
hugs,
Laura